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9:8-15). Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which we learn referred not to the leaven of bread, but to the doctrine of these two sects (Matt. 16:6-12). Now what was their doctrine? (Acts 23:6-9) “The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees confess both.” The Sadducees' leaven consisted in their denial of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels; the Pharisees' leaven consisted in their belief of the pagan theory of the immortality of the soul and disembodied spirits, which they say have neither flesh nor bones, but yet can speak to men. This is evident, for the doctrine of the resurrection, and the existence of angels Paul believed and taught, but after his conversion never taught or sanctioned their theory of spirits.
The apostles of Christ manifestly needed the admonition to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, for having been under their teaching before the days of John and Jesus, they had imbibed of their errors, and so on one occasion when Jesus came to them walking on the water, they cried out for fear, and said, “It is a spirit” (Matt. 14:25-26). Again, after Jesus rose from the dead and appeared suddenly among them, they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. But Jesus disabused their minds of this delusion, and said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” Besides, he ate meat and an honey-comb in their presence (Luke 24: 36-43). This appears to have effectually relieved their minds of this error, for there is no record that they ever taught the doctrine, or were ever troubled about the superstition any more.
On the contrary, they had now before their eyes a practical manifestation of God's salvation and immortality in the person of Jesus Christ, raised from the dead to die no more. They were eye-witnesses of this salvation, for they saw it with their eyes, and handled it with their hands (I John 1:1-3) and were commissioned and sent forth by Jesus to teach it to all nations, as the hope of dying men, and it was concerning this salvation that Paul says, “If we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, let him be accursed."
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus was spoken to the Pharisees, and was predicated upon their own superstition, in which, true to their theory, the dead were represented as being comforted, or tormented, according as they had been good or bad in this life; and a conversation is introduced between the rich man and Abraham in which, after he can get no relief for himself, he expresses great solicitude for his five brethren which were yet alive, and desires Abraham to send Lazarus to warn them, lest they also come to the same place of torment. But what does Abraham say in reply? “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.” And again he replies, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” This parable therefore, among other things, is intended expressly to blind the eyes of the Pharisees concerning the state of the dead, and has been most effectual to that end from that day to this upon the same hypocritical class and their dupes who make void the word of God by their traditions (Mark 7: 5-13). But no wise man need be deceived by it if he will follow the instructions which Christ puts in Abraham's mouth, and hear Moses and the prophets, for Moses never taught the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, or the conscious state of the dead, although he was thoroughly conversant with the doctrine, being learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, who held this doctrine. But instead, by inspiration of God he taught the house of Israel a system of religion beginning with the mortality of man, that he was made of the dust of the ground which has no mentality or thinking powers, and that because of sin and transgression he was condemned to die and return again to dust; which would place him just where he was before he was created, which would be in a state of utter unconsciousness and silence. Therefore it is that the hope that is offered to mankind is salvation by resurrection of the dead, which was the doctrine Moses taught, for said Jesus, “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Thus a scriptural interpretation of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus takes away all support to the ancient fable of the immortality of human souls, and instead, this parable is employed to blind the eyes of those who believe and support a heathen theory of immortality, instead of the glorious hope of immortality which is revealed from heaven, and was manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ himself by resurrection from the dead.
Why then should we follow this fable any further? for it is not only not taught in the Scriptures, but is most emphatically denied there; for, first, immortality is never spoken of in the Scriptures as appertaining to man in the present state, but contrariwise, is offered to the children of men on certain well defined conditions, as a reward for well doing.
Second, the condition of the dead is spoken of by the wise men in no uncertain sound, but they speak plainly and positively on that matter, for “Why," says the wise man, “is a live dog better than a dead lion?" He answers himself, "For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything."
Again the souls of the righteous are supposed to be animated with love in heaven after death, and the souls of the wicked are supposed to be moved by hatred, envy, and wicked passions; but the inspired preacher has no suppositions about the matter, but says plainly, “ Also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished” (Eccles. 9:4-6).
Again the false consolation that preachers often give to the friends of the deceased is that their departed ones are in heaven looking down with eager solicitude upon the friends they left behind, whereas the prophet Job (Jesus calls him a prophet) says, His sons come to honour and he knoweth it not, they are brought low but he heedeth it not of them" (14:21).
THINGS SEEN THROUGH A FALSE MEDIUM
False views resultant upon belief in immortality of soul, about God the Father, Jesus Christ, the angels and saints — God the Father — Jesus, the express image of Father's person-"God is a Spirit"- Modern idolatry The Creator - Omnipresence and omnipotence of the Father - The Holy Spirit -- What it is.
They who view things in heaven above, or in the earth beneath through immortal soul spectacles are like to a person who views objects in nature through a coloured glass of irregular surface; he sees everything in a false light and in an unnatural and distorted form. So those who believe in the immortality of the soul and view things spiritual through that medium see everything of a scriptural character in a false light and in an improper and unreal form. For beginning with themselves, they have arrogated to themselves that they are what they are not, and they have sought to convert the curse pronounced in Eden into a blessing in disguise; and instead of viewing death as a loss of existence, and a reduction of man back again into his original elements out of which he was made, according to their inventions death is but a door to another world, which, when opened, admits them into a new world of light and glory. The real man, they say, is a spirit which survives the death of the body, and this immortal spirit, they say, has neither Alesh nor bones and is not gross and material, but is immaterial and immortal. And now having struck out thus boldly on the part of themselves, they view everything from that false standpoint. And so as to their object of worship; as they claim that their real selves are immaterial, how could they worship a material object? Therefore the God which they worship is an immaterial God, which they say, has neither body nor parts, but is a pure spirit, in the sense of being a divine essence.
And how is it in regard to the Christ that they trust in? Paul charged the ministers that opposed him with preaching another Jesus and another gospel on the grounds of attributing to Jesus doctrines of which he was not the author, and also by teaching things concerning himself which were not true, and by modifying his gospel; and as he charges them upon these grounds with teaching another Jesus and another gospel, so do the teachers of our day preach another Jesus and another gospel, for it may be set down as a rule that he who changes the doctrine, thereby changes the object of worship, for the true God is not worshipped through a lie, but through the truth.
Again they hold and teach that angels are spirits, but according to their views, they have neither flesh nor bones. Again they teach the existence of a devil, and devils, that were not known to inspired men, and of whom the Scriptures are silent.
Thus, by looking through their immortal soul glasses they see a spurious God, a spurious Christ, spurious angels, a spurious devil and devils, and a spurious man. With such a basis as this to work upon, it is not surprising that they cherish a false hope which they never can realize, that they teach a system of religion, and a manner of getting religion (as they term it), unknown in the Holy Scriptures, and such as was never taught by either Jesus or his apostles, that they have false views of the kingdom of God, and that they are strangers to the covenants of promise, and the true meaning thereof.
Now with reference to what we have said above, we have not stated it unadvisedly, nor without knowing whereof we have affirmed, and we submit to all intelligent and impartial witnesses the following testimonies and arguments in confirmation of what we have here said; and what we have said and may further say is done in all honesty and sincerity to honor God, and to eschew evil; to love righteousness and hate wickedness. First then with reference to false views of the Father:
GOD THE FATHER He is the original model after which man is formed, for it is written, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." God therefore has an image, and the physical form and image of God man never lost, but bears to-day as at the beginning, for man, says Paul, “ Is the image and glory of God” (1 Cor. 11:7). James also says (3:9) that men are made after the similitude of God. Again Moses says (Gen. 9:6), “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man.” Therefore who dares to raise his puny arm against high heaven and destroy the image of the Creator as it exists in his fellow man, — God has righteously decreed that his life shall be taken from the earth.
Now in direct opposition to modern theology, God the Father has a material person, a body and parts, which is proved not by speculations and vain imaginations, but by facts, as follows. Moses saw the angel of God's presence, the person in whom the Father had placed his name and power, who is called therefore, “ The God of Israel," the person of whom the Lord said to Moses (Exod. 23:20-21), “Behold, I send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared." This person Moses saw face to face, and spake with him “ As a man speaketh with a friend."
Moses was fully aware that this person was not the Father himself. He knew that there was a much greater Lord, a much more august personage on the top of the Mount Sinai than the angel of his presence whom the Lord said he would send with him to bring the children of Israel into the land that he had espied for them, while he declared positively to Moses that he himself would not go lest he consume them in the way; and as he had seen the angel of the Lord freely, and as the greater Lord had said to him, “I know thee by name, and thou hast found grace in my sight,” Moses was encouraged in the mount to draw near to the Lord and said, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; and consider that this nation is thy people.” To this the Lord replied, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest," that is, the Lord's presence would go with him in the person of the angel, all of which he accepted; but Moses was not yet satisfied, and he said again to the Lord, "I beseech thee show me thy glory." This in plain language was asking to see his face, for the glory of a man is his countenance, but the Lord replied to this request, “ Thou canst not see my face, for there shall no man see me and live.”
But the Lord continues, "Behold, there is a place by me (that is, upon the top of the mount), and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand; and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen (Exod. 33: 13-23). This the Lord did, and Moses saw his back parts, as the Lord had said, and when Moses saw the back portions of the Father's person he made haste and bowed his head toward the ground and worshipped In this place the proof is positive and direct that the Father has a body, the back parts of which Moses saw by the special permission of God himself, and it must be a very ignorant or a very presumptuous man who would dare deny it, or who will dare to render these facts void by vain theories and imaginations out of his own heart. Moreover, we learn from this narrative that to truly see a person is to see the face; and although Moses was permitted to see the back portions of the Father's person; yet the Lord said to him, “No man shall see my face and live.” This, then, is the true interpretation of the saying in the New Testament where it is said, “No man hath seen God at any time.” No man hath seen his face; that is an honour reserved for the righteous in the resurrection when they will be equal to, and as the angels of God in heaven. And Jesus said concerning these little ones (Matt. 18:10), “Their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Again it is written, “ Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). They shall see his face.
JESUS, THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF THE FATHER'S PERSON Again further proof of this doctrine can be shown in this way: Paul says to the saints in Corinth (1 Cor. 15:49), “ As we have borne the image of the earthy (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (Adam). That is, as we have borne the mortal image of the first Adam, we shall also bear the immortal image of the second Adam. And as touching the immortal image of the second Adam which he had when he was raised from the dead (" by the glory of the Father," as Peter says), Paul speaks of it as follows in the first chapter of Hebrew's, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
In this preface to his letter to the Hebrews he declares among many things that Christ the Son of God, who sat down on the right hand of the Majesty